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Comica Festival

Comica Social Club



Examining the formation and function of archetypes and stereotypes - racial, sexual, social and political - in British and American comics and graphic novels. The day explores the extent to which the images and text associated with this genre can be progressive or reactionary; do they subvert dominant stereotypes or endorse them? More…

Tickets: £40, £30 concessions and £15 students
Where: Sackler Centre, V&A Museum, South Kensington, London
When: Friday, November 14, 2008 - 10am to 5.30pm

Symposium Programme:

10.00 Coffee & Registration

10.30 Welcome & Introduction - John Meriton

10.35 Ian Rakoff
Art of the Century: Stereotypes, Prejudice and Grammar in Frame-Culture (Film and Comics). Ian Rakoff discusses the V&A Museum’s on-going commitment to comics and this one day comics symposium here.

11.20 Charles Dierick - Racial Stereotypes in Comics
Charles Dierick from the Hergé Studios and former director of the Comics Museum in Brussels discusses Tintin in the Congo and racial stereotypes in comics.

12.05 Dougie Braithwaite & Richard Reynolds:
Dougie Braithwaite, artist on Justice, interviewed by Richard Reynolds, author of Superheroes: A Modern Mythology, about changing attitudes and representations from Superman to Watchmen and beyond.

12.40 Discussion

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Eric Fernie, Courtauld Institute:
Examining the ways in which women were presented in a number of comic strips from the 1950s, focusing on Rip Kirby and Dan Dare. Characters are assessed in terms of looks, intelligence and courage and on how they form part of the narrative or are independent of it. Parallels are drawn with films and books, and one strip from the 21st century is included for comparative purposes.

14.45 Pat Mills & Sina Shamsavari
Pat Mills, UK/US comics writer, and researcher Sina Shamsavari, examine the role of black, female and other minority characters in modern British and American comics. Chaired by Paul Gravett.

15.30 Coffee break

15.50 From Hippies To Yuppies:
Posy Simmonds on writing and drawing the British classes.

16.35 Women Creators & Characters Today:
Lise Myhre, strip cartoonist of Goth-girl Nemi in Metro, and Asia Alfasi, Muslim autobiographical graphic novelist, interviewed by Corinne Pearlman.

17.15 Plenary Discussion


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" of the cultural highlights in London's graphic novel calendar."
Joel Meadows

" over beers with some of the UK's coolest comic types..."
Thomas Behe

"...the social buzz is what I will remember from the day."
Ed Pinsent

"...a major new international festival devoted to sequential narratives."

"...packed out..."
Tony Venezia

"When the event was over the audience was left wanting more."
Liban Diriye

"The ICA treats comics the way they should be: as contemporary art."
Sci Fi London

"...all [24 hour comic day] participants felt a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction by the end."
Jim Medway

"Featuring some of the most critically-acclaimed international comic book creators..."

"The epitome of geekchic, it's most definitely worth checking out."
The Rough Guide To Graphic Novels